From sheriff’s offices to district attorneys, more justice officials are being forced to pay for decryption keys when their computer files are frozen by the use of ransomware. “Small organizations are basically sitting ducks,” said Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union.
More local governments, hospitals, and police departments are being hit by hackers who demand ransoms for returning access to data. Local and state agencies were hit by 450 such infections monthly between October and May, says Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
The U.S. is still pondering an appropriate response to Russian attempts to interfere with the election, but it may not be delivered in cyberspace, says James R. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. He told a New York audience yesterday that tit-for-tat cyberattacks might backfire on the U.S. economy.
Proposal, which would take effect Dec. 1 unless Congress stops it, would allow federal agents with a warrant to hack millions of U.S. computers at once. Justice Department say it’s necessary to fight “botnets,” while Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) calls it “more government surveillance.”